French biotech report published
Lyon – Fuelled by governmental support, the French biotech sector experienced a vintage year in 2010, with a second generation of companies now emerging. But according to the Life Science Panorama 2010 survey, released by the industry group France Biotech, recent changes in the 2011 budget risk reversing this progress. Over 263 life science SMEs responded to the survey, and 211 were included in the analysis released at the BioVision conference in Lyon. The survey reflects the effect of French government actions to encourage the creation of these kinds of business, among them the Young Innovative Company (YIC) status, and initiatives such as the Grand Emprunt (National Bond) scheme and the Strategic Investment Fund (FSI). It points to potential earnings in the pipelines of development stage medical biotech companies, with oncology and infectious disease as the leading therapeutic and diagnostic areas. According to the survey, 273 French products were in the R&D pipeline, while 2010 also saw a revival in venture capital investment. Following a 65% drop in 2009, the total amount of venture capital raised by life sciences companies increased by 56% in 2010, up from a65m to EUR148m. 12 companies went out of business, but seven out of ten European biotech initial public offerings in 2010 were from French companies.